Newsflash: I did not deal with anxiety with the grace under pressure I had hoped for.
I am now officially very worried.
My daughter is the picture of Generalized Anxiety Disorder right now. I’m a close second, if not ahead of her.
“Should I go, mom? I’m not excited like I was for other trips. I’m going to meet people I have to say good bye to right away. I’m sick of it. I want everything the same. I don’t want things to be new. I got an incomplete last semester and I don’t know if I got a high enough grade to go anyway. The teacher won’t get back to me about my grade-he’s an adjunct, he’s not there this semester. ”
And the clincher.
“I don’t have a home to go home to. I don’t live anywhere. My home is gone”.
This means her parents got divorced and that her room was repainted. I repainted the room before the divorce. It means her childhood is not waiting for her. The room is still there. It’s hers for the asking. Her father lives within walking distance. But it’s not the same,it never is.
I tried to remind myself, oh, I did try, that life does change, that my happiness is worth something, and then I think, divorce has brought me nothing but misery. I could have faked it til he end of my life…buried it along with my spent life. Then, “No I couldn’t”. I miss the man I really loved, he’s inaccessible. Why do I keep thinking of him? Irritating and upsetting. GET OVER IT!
My ex is responding in his usual way. He has very little read on the extent our daughter is upset. He’ll do as I say in speaking to her, because he has few ideas of his own..this is my territory. He agreed to deal with the college if she doesn’t go. Will the college demand tuition anyway (if she doesn’t get on the plane), to the tune of thousands of dollars? And will he actually do what he says by negotiating with them? Questionable at best.
I’m getting hit on all sides at work. I did a phenomenally good job on the two reports I had due, and entirely missed needing to do a third. The federal bureaucrat (read, little girl in a big dress who thinks she’s important) is pissed at me. I was unhappily reassured that we’ve always been underdogs anyway; we’re not expected to perform.
Fuck! Are you kidding me? That’s a terrible rep.
That’s the way I deal with anxiety, better and better performance. My father died suddenly a month before my graduation from Stanford. I walked back into school and got straight As. I’m not saying that’s healthy. I’m saying it circumvents other problems.
It’s not the way my daughter copes. She collapses in when it gets to be too much. She avoids, and delays and ends up in a pickle that is so upsetting to me..replete with physical symptoms… I can’t imagine how she lets herself get there. “NOW IT”S WORSE!” “DON”T YOU SEE?”
Fight or flight. I fight. She flights.
I relented and cried to my therapist on the phone. “Don’t go to the guilt” she says. “it’s just a wave, this is real life.” Is it? Or is real life settling down in one place,and having babies, not moving around like a maniac, chasing experiences and money…I don’t know, Back then women wore pink aprons and went to psychiatrists who told them to adapt to their feminine role.
What is going on here?
One girl, one upset girl, who should go see the elephants. I think she should.